I’d been meaning to bring this up again for a while. I was reminded again when I was on a gun forum where people were posting their “bragging” pictures to show off how many guns they own.
Firearms mean different things to different people. For some it is a weapon, others a tool for hunting. Some buy them because they are collectible, or cool. For what ever reason, gun are a whole lot of fun.
But if we are concerned about serious usage, fighting, or survival, lets not forget the big picture.
If you are a pepper, don’t forgo food, money on hand, supplies, etc over an additional extra gun. There are a great deal of more plausible shit hits the fan (SHTF) scenarios then a prolonged gun fight.
Before you buy that 40th gun to add to the collection. Consider if you are lacking in other equipment like body armor, night vision, or silencers.
Some years back I had a friend tell me he had a gun to protect him self and his family from zombies. I asked him how much ammo he had and he replied 20 rounds. I commented how the 21st zombie would get him. I’ve had machinists tell me that if the SHTF they are going to turn their own silencer on a lathe. I challenge them if they know how to make their own night vision or lightweight body armor.
I love guns. I love having a lot of guns. But sometimes we might want to consider if there is something else we need before we add another gun to the stable. Especially consider special equipment. For example, night vision. That would be much harder to obtain in the middle of a bad situation. And, of course, don’t put your self in debt buying this stuff.
Since today is the anniversary or Kevin passing away I decided to also add one of his early articles. Yea you can read it on the website but I wanted something over here today for those who may not know about weaponsman and Kevin’s writing. It can be a refresher for long time readers as well. And really do you need a reason to read some of the man’s work? Click on link below to see images and original article.
This is the first of a three-part series. Special Forces has been
around for sixty years (since 1952), and were dividing it into roughly
When John F. Kennedy infuriated Army bigwigs by awarding Special
Forces the GreenBeret by executive order in 1961, the unit had been in
existence for less than ten years. Before it hit its 20-year
anniversary, it would go to Vietnam ahead of Big Green and come home
ahead of Big Green (in 1971). During this time it went through several
generations of weapons, and at the end of this period the old-timers
were still hanging on to the weapons they used at the start of the era.
In 1952, SF stood up, first with just one Group targeted on the
Russian satellite/slave nations in Eastern Europe. The unit was armed,
like the rest of the Army, with the proven arms of World War II: the M1
Garand rifle, the M1/M2 Carbine, and the Browning Automatic Rifle as
individual weapons. The most-used crew-served weapon was the venerable
Browning Model 1919A4/A6 light machine gun. The standard pistol was the
M1911A1 .45. Special Forces, a unit meant to work behind enemy lines,
also trained extensively with the weapons of potential enemies and the
deniable weapons of the defeated Axis powers and various unaligned
nations. During these two decades, the Army replaced its individual
weapons twice. Out of all this hardware, only a few weapons became
The M1/M2 Carbine
M2 Carbine — light, handy, not terribly hard-hitting.
Nobody was neutral about this lightweight rifle that fired a special
low-powered cartridge. You lived it or you hated it, no middle ground.
The lovers liked its handiness, its lightweight ammunition, and, once
Vietnam got going in SF’s second decade of existence, the fact that it
was the same weapon their indigenous strike force troopers carried.
Having a weapon that didn’t have a distinctive report or flash could be
helpful in preventing the VC/NVA from locking on the USSF members of the
patrol, while conversely, USSF carrying a different weapon made the
Civilian Irregular Defense Group strikers lose confidence in their
carbines. The folding-stock M1A1 version was seldom if ever seen,
through the 1960s and into the Vietnam decade, the carbines were just
generic carbines. The M2 was a selective-fire version. The M3 used a
very early and very primitive active infrared night-vision system, with a
visual range of barely 100 yards, but it introduced SF to the
night-vision concept that would only come to real fruition in the 1990s.
The Browning Automatic Rifle
Early SF guys loved this WW1-vintage hunk of firepower. It had
selectable rates of fire, enough weight to be solidly controllable, and
fired a powerful round. When the BAR finally succumbed to obsolescence,
the web belts that were made to carry its magazines got another
twenty-plus years of service.
The Armalite AR-15/Colt Model 601
most of the Army ever heard of this rifle, SF tried it out in combat
under Project AGILE and liked it. The early Colt Model 601 AR-15 gave an
SF trooper nearly the close-range firepower of that BAR in a six and a
half pound package — which let him carry prodigious quantities of
ammunition. Every M16 and AR-15 variant today is descended from these
early guns, but if you’ve only shot the descendants, the sire is a
revelation — light, fast-handling, perfectly balanced, and free of the
protuberances, knobbly bits and sharp edges that thirty years of
improvements have added to the gun. Many modern ARs are half again the
weight of the 601, and that’s before you start adding optics and gadgets
that trade-off balance and handling for increased capability.
The Carl Gustav M45B SMG
Or as the Joes called it, the Swedish K. An excellent 2nd-generation
submachine gun, the K was carried by special ops forces in regular and
suppressed versions. There was nothing special about the gun, except
perhaps for its thick green paint job; it really didn’t do anything that
an M3 grease gun didn’t do, except “be exotic,” which was enough to
endear it to generations of SF soldiers. In Afghanistan in 2002 we found
a cache with a couple Egyptian “Port Said” copies of the Swedish K, and
a couple of our guys spent the rest of their war stylin’ and profilin’
with ’em. Compact assault rifles killed off the pistol-caliber
submachine gun, but they’re still good for lots of “cool points.” The
one in the picture is a homemade one, from original parts and an 80%
receiver from Philadelphis Ordnance.
This shortened version of the M16 rifle was made in a wide variety of
versions and variants. The ultimate version was the XM177E2, (Colt
Model 639). This weapon is probably more associated with the elite
cross-border reconnaissance teams of the Special Operations Group (SOG)
than any other. After the war, though, it was quickly phased out of the
inventory — only to inspire the return to carbine-length weapons many
years later. Civilian export models were used on the Son Tay Raid,
perhaps the most daring (if unsuccessful) operation of the war.
The M1911A1 .45
This classic Browning design was the standard US Army sidearm for
most of the 20th Century, and still serves in limited places today. It
had been the standard sidearm for 40 years and two major wars when SF
kicked off, and at the end of this period (1972) it was still the
unchallenged king of the handgun hill.
The Hi-Standard .22
Developed for the OSS, this nearly silent weapon was used in covert
and clandestine raids. It was also used by the OSS’s other offspring,
the CIA (U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers had one in his survival kit,
which resides in a museum in Moscow).
The M1935 Browning HP.
was a prestige handgun by dint of its non-US-issue status. Every
weapons man was taught it, along with dozens of other US and foreign
weapons, in SFQC. But it was also used when deniable foreign weapons
were needed, and tended to surface from warehouse stocks somewhere when
large deployments were made. While some BHPs were privately owned,
others were FN-made or Inglis-made weapons that somehow wound up in US
In addition to “service” Hi-Powers, in the Vietnam War presentation
Hi-Powers were sometimes given to Sf soldiers completing a tour
successfully. However, it seems more common to hear the story of how a
trooper got rooked out of a HP than to hear the story of him getting
The image came from Stephen Camp’s good (but not recently updated) hipowers-handguns.blogspot.com.
You can’t be SF and not love mortars. Mortars are SF’s own little
artillery pieces, letting us rain down the Judgment of the Lord on
whatever heathens need smiting, whether they’re Vietcong (godless
Communists, no God at all) or Salafist Taliban (too much God and the
wrong kind). And the 60mm mortar is mortar on a personal scale. Think of
it as the military answer to desktop publishing… desktop depublishing
genomes from the Book of Life. The mortars of this period were the
small, light M2 and M19 60mm mortars.
Model 1919A4/A6 light machine gun
This was a standard US weapon for many years; a robust weapon,
designed by John Browning (again!) and fielded from tripods or in a
peculiar looking bipod/shoulder-stocked version. The famous .50 M2HB is
basically this weapon, scaled up. SF used these on vehicles
occasionally, and to defend fixed positions, like the A-camps in
Legendary Guns of SF 1952-72
We hope you enjoyed this look at the legendary weapons of Special
Forces’ first two decades. In the next installment, we pick up in the
lean years after Vietnam and carry on for two more decades into new
realms of global responsibility: 1972-1992.
UPDATE: This post has been corrected. The SF CAR-15 was the XM177E2, not XM144E2, as noted by Daniel Watters of The Gun Zone
in the comments. Also, two facts should probably have been made clear:
the Army then termed it a Submachine Gun, as strange as that seems today
when the conceptually similar M4 series is recognized as a Carbine. And
the XM177E2 and Colt Model 639 were the same gun with different
markings — 177 for the US Military, and 639 for the civilian, foreign
and export market
Over at Facebook there is a response from Surefire. Here is the quote:
Dear Customers and Concerned Citizens:
It has been brought to our attention that past political donations from the SureFire Political Action Committee (PAC) have been called in to question along with SureFire’s stance on the Second Amendment. Before we get to the facts we’d like to thank you for your support and we sincerely appreciate your loyalty.
It’s a long read but the details should provide a fuller perspective:
Established in 2010 and disbanded in 2014, the purpose of the SureFire PAC was to gain the support and assistance of our state representatives (both Democrat and Republican) so that we had a chance at (1) obtaining congressional funding to develop sighting technology that would improve the warfighter’s ability to aim crew-served weapons, and (2) to be able to reach out to our representatives when we need assistance doing business in California.
During its existence from 2010 to 2014 the SureFire PAC made donations totaling approximately $10,356 to Democrat representatives and $16,610 to Republican representatives.
It should be noted that we were unsuccessful in obtaining congressional funding for the weapon-sight development project mentioned above, and that all of our product development has been self-funded. But if you are a defense business that hopes to get congressional budget earmarked funding and/or program support for defense-related projects, you typically need to get the attention and support of at least one of your state representatives—or all of them if possible—so they can “represent” your interests during the budget appropriations process.
This is how business is done in the defense industry, by most medium-sized defense manufacturers, and by all of the large ones. And, it’s what we needed to do to achieve our mission of ensuring the safety, success and survival of our customers—whether military, law enforcement, or patriot-citizen.
In 2018 one of our employees donated $500 to the DNC Services Corp, a pro-Democrat organization. This was a personal donation, had nothing to do with SureFire, and despite the fact that we, as a company, are not aligned with his political preferences, we recognize his right to think differently and to vote as he pleases.
SureFire (as an organization) is 2A to the core. I myself am an NRA Lifetime Endowment member; our VP of Suppressors and Weapons is a veteran and world-class competitive shooter; our VP of Sales and Marketing is a veteran and competitive shooter; our VP of Military Sales gave 21 years to his country, 18 of them as an Army Special Operations commando; our graphic designers practice dry-firing and handgun drills in the office; our team-building events usually involve shooting; many of our executives and employees are concealed carry permit holders and carry daily. Most of us worry about how to live our 2A lives without running afoul of so-called “assault rifle” laws, reduced-capacity magazine regulations, and all the other restrictions we deal with as firearms owners, and as a manufacturer of firearms and firearms accessories in California.
We also support organizations such as the National Rifle Association, American Suppressor Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, among others, and are proud of our long history of sponsoring USPSA, IDPA, 3-Gun and other shooting sports. Come by our office and you’ll see we share the same values as you do when it comes to the freedom to bear arms.
Our focus is on providing the warfighter, first responder, and armed citizen with the tools they need to win the fight, and we promise to keep making products that support the Second Amendment, the American worker, our economy, our military, and freedom in general.
The Knights Armament End Plate QD Swivel Mount (Part No. KM24103-1) is way over priced and obsolete. Now there are QD endplates that are significantly cheaper and get the QD swivel in a location where it doesn’t rub against your hand as much.
That said, I absolutely love the look of this old part when used with a Magpul CTR stock.
Long ago, in some of the M16 chopped down to be survival rifles, and KAC also produced some pistol grips where an A2 grip was cut down. I had an extra A2 grip that was in really bad shape so I tried taking it to the band saw and the belt sander and cut it down a bit.
The smooth short grip allows me to choke up higher on the gun. For a smaller light weight set up like this pistol it gives a good bit of control over the gun. I like it.
But much to my annoyance, there was a little void in the plastic where the A2 nub was. So now that it was ground off, there is a little void in the front of this grip. That is going to annoy me as long as I use this grip.
Well that is a name that just rolls off the tongue.
When I saw this, I thought it was a joke. Still think it should be one.
This is a kit to build a single shot .410 shotgun that would be completed at home using some various pipe fittings. The kit costs $119.99 from this site, and you would need to procure some pipe fittings. The major draw of this is that you can buy the kit and have it shipped right to you with out having to have it go through a dealer.
Shows how silly our gun laws are. Personally, I think it would make more sense to pick up a used shotgun locally. But it is always good to have options. I wouldn’t pay $120 for one, but I am sure there is a market for it.